The Waltons children will be at their first reunion in 30 years in attendance to the screening of “The Homecoming” at the Landmark Loew’s Jersey Theatre in Jersey City on Friday. It’s a TV Show that started it all 40 years ago. All the Walton’s children will be attending; Kami Cotler (who played Elizabeth), Jon Walmsley (Jason), David Harper (Jim Bob), Eric Scott (Ben), Michael Learned (Olivia, a.k.a. “Ma”), Richard Thomas (John-Boy), Judy Norton (Mary Ellen), and Mary Elizabeth McDonough (Erin)
The Homecoming is a movie that is focused on a family’s Christmas wish for their father to get home for Christmas. Due to the Great Depression, he has been unable to find a job locally and because of snowstorms and bus crashes, he still wants to be home for Christmas.
The Today Show, Matt Lauer sat down with The Walton family and chatted with them about being young actors and actresses in Hollywood and faces the challenges.
Kami Cotler, who played Elizabeth made a statement about the challenge, “It was a very different time to be famous. On the whole, when Waltons fans meet you they feel like your family. So there isn’t that kind of ‘get you’ or ‘gotcha’ intrusve thing. People just want to give you a hug.”
Elizabeth McDonough, who played Erin added, “It’s not like there was one star, we really became like siblings.”
Judy Norton who played Mary Ellen said in a statement, “The show really evoked a community feel. When a neighbor was in trouble or there was a problem in the community, everyone came together. The show wasn’t just a show to some people, it had a deeper meaning. And that’s always nice to hear.”
Judy Norton and Jon Walmsley agrees that having a bond on and off cast really helped the show become a hit because they were doing things together even off the set. “That’s the interesting thing about this show,” said Walmsley. “That doesn’t usually happen on a show, but we would go out to lunch together, go to concerts and things like that. At one point we even had a softball team!”
The Waltons TV Show ran for nine seasons on CBS from 1971 through 1982 and had over 220 episodes. The set was in a time period where there was depression and war and yet, the The Walton’s TV show is where people turned to feel good.
The Walton’s cast still keeps in touch after 40 years.
Watch The Walton’s 40th anniversary interview with Today Show Matt Lauer: